What Do You Believe?

“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”

~Mahatma Gandhi


I saw this quote and needed to write about it.  It really makes me think.  What do I believe in?  Do we really ponder what we truly believe in?  For example, do I believe that all life is sacred?  Do I believe in unconditional forgiveness?  Do I believe in the human potential?  Do I believe in God or a higher power?  Do I believe in love?  Do I believe in eternal life?

We can sit in a quiet space and pray or meditate on these questions.  We might even answer yes to these beliefs.  Yes, I believe that all life is sacred!  Yes, I believe in God!  Yes, I believe in love!  Yes, I believe in the full human potential!

What comes next for me is, “Do I live from these beliefs?”  If I believe in the sacredness of all life, yet walk around treating others with disdain and disrespect, then how can I say that I truly believe that all life is sacred?  If I believe in forgiveness, but am unable to forgive another person, then what do I truly believe about forgiveness?  If I believe in the human potential, but never strive to grow and stretch myself, then is human potential something for other people and not me?

What kind of a day would it be like for us to pick one thing that we believe in and try to live our life through the lens of that belief?  What would our lives look like if our beliefs came not only from our lips, but also from our hands, eyes, ears, feet and hearts?

With beliefs there is risk and vulnerability because our beliefs are checked against our lived experience.  If I believe that people are honest, and someone betrays me, then my belief gets challenged.  And in that challenge, I have a choice.  Do I still believe in it or do I toss it out?  Part of the experience of believing is that they will be checked and challenged.  Yet in that time of challenge, we have the opportunity to grow and deepen that belief.  We can grow in understanding and wisdom with that belief.  The challenge is to engage the challenge and let ourselves become more of what we believe.  We are, after all, works in progress and so are how we understand of our beliefs.

For me, the person with the greatest belief is the one who can step off of the ledge of certainty and familiarity onto the path of trust, vulnerability and faith.

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